40th Annual Jones Group 10 Miler

“From here on in I will no longer sell myself short with negative self-talk. I will not underestimate my abilities. I will continue to train hard some days, run for fun other days and always trust in my progress.” 

This is a quote from the end of my post last year on this exact same race. I ran the Jones 10 Miler again this year on Sunday, 2/23 and had a completely different experience than last year. This race figured in nicely with my marathon training so I registered for it a few weeks ago. Suffice it to say had I taken the advice I wrote in last year’s post I may not have tormented myself on race day.

I started this blog to talk about running and inevitably it has at times been a place where I discuss weight loss, body image and my longtime struggle with both of these issues. Oh how I wish I could say the struggle is over, done with! I wish I could write right now that I’m in love with my body, I feel amazing, and when I look in the mirror I see a beautiful person.

Getting dressed for the race, I felt heavy, my legs seemed infinitely larger and I was immediately uncomfortable in my body. My running pants are all basically the same so instead I tried on numerous tops trying to “feel” smaller or look lighter. Eventually I gave up, threw on something comfortable that I’m used to running in and headed out the door.

I stood at the starting line that morning feeling a myriad of things, namely fat, lonely and pessimistic about the race. There were numerous running clubs around me. Everyone’s shirt seemed to match someone else’s shirt. It was honestly the first time I felt really alone at a race. I have always run alone, but I think more and more I am beginning to wonder what it would be like to run with others, to have a sense of camaraderie and the support of a group of like-minded people.

I resigned myself early on to running the 10 miles without worrying about time. I was fairly confident that I could run at least the same pace I ran last year if not slightly better, but I grew angry at myself because I didn’t feel that I could run it as comfortably thanks to the few pounds that I have put back on. I berated myself silently for smearing too much peanut butter on my traditional pre- long run banana suddenly feeling it deep in my stomach. As I obsessed about this minutiae the horn sounded and we were starting to run.

If you read my post from last year you will read about the challenging course. It was altered slightly this year, but really only the starting and finishing points. The race in between was the same uphill battle it has been for many years. At least the weather cooperated. Despite a chance of rain the course stayed dry and overcast with temps in the high 30s/low 40s. It was perfect running weather.

The hills came and went. I pushed myself up each one. They were difficult, but they were just hills. I run hills all the time. Sure I thought about how much easier they would be with less weight, but I pushed on. My mind worked much harder than my legs during this race. I vacillated between negative self-talk to making plans of action. My lips quivered at times as I brushed back tears from my eyes.

As I neared the 5 mile mark I could see the time clock up ahead. After a little mental math I realized I was running on par with my recent training paces. I was poised to come in slightly ahead of last year’s time. This put a little spring in my step and lifted some of the heaviness off of my shoulders. My internal talk shifted to a more understanding, more empathetic conversation, but deep down I could not shake the negativity. I plodded along totally alone for most of the race

I finished the race with little fanfare. I literally crossed the finish line and continued jogging to my car. Carlos had soccer practice and skating practice so Orlando took him while I ran. This is not a big spectator race so there were few people at the finish line. My official time was 1:34:55 almost a minute off last year’s time of 1:35:54.

Ironically as I revisited my post from last year I also looked back where I used to track my weight and noticed that I was actually almost exactly the same weight a year ago. Weight loss is only one piece of this puzzle. Self-acceptance is another.

This was a tough post to write because it is a departure from my typical upbeat, excited race recaps. In many ways this race was a turning point for me and revisiting last year’s post was eye opening. I have some big spring running plans including another marathon. I have some lofty running goals this year. I’m working hard to shed those extra pounds and lose the last 10-15 pounds.

As I mentioned yesterday I’m also taking part in the Love Your Body Challenge by Molly Galbraith. Day 1 (check out the post if you have time. It shares the stories of real women coming to terms with their bodies.) is today for me. The Action Step for the day called for doing something nice for yourself while repeating the mantra: ”My body is my home. It’s the ONLY place I have to live.  I will treat it with the care and respect it deserves.” 

I did a little root touch up on my hair to tide me over until my salon appointment and I applied a banana coconut deep conditioning hair masque after the color. I love when my hair feels soft and the gray is hidden. As for the mantra, well I like the sentiment, but I forgot to repeat it over and over. I remember hearing something similar years ago from Madonna when she was getting into Kabbalah, yoga and other spiritual practices, but it struck a chord then though I couldn’t quite seem to put it into practice. It’s so true though. Our body is our temple. Why then do I mistreat such a sacred place, my sacred place?

7 thoughts on “40th Annual Jones Group 10 Miler

  1. It’s funny Aimee, because today at lunch I ran a 5k on the treadmill. I think the last 5k I did was back in December?!

    As I was running, I was struggling to keep my breathing even, I was getting mad at myself for slacking up on the workouts – when I was in my hay day last November I did a sub 30 minute 5k!

    But guess what – I finished in 34:33 – not a bad time at all – and then I wished I would have enjoyed it more than having the dialogue telling myself if I was just smaller I could ran faster – gah!

    “Weight loss is only one piece of this puzzle. Self-acceptance is another.” I loved this line!

    • It’s funny because if you told me you ran a 5K on your lunch break I would be so excited for you. I would tell you that 34:33 is an awesome time given the fact that you haven’t run that distance for a couple of months. Yet I don’t speak to myself the same way. We truly are our own worst enemy sometimes. Thanks for the shout out on your blog. And congratulations on your run!! I really do think it’s awesome.

  2. Pingback: I Want to Be A Spartan. | My Bizzy Kitchen

  3. I’m sure you can guess this, but I’d encourage you to try a running group. I’ve run with my same group of buddies for the better part of more than 5 years. I’ve been struggling lately. This morning, after a few miles of a warm-up, we had one mile hill loops, and I got lapped by the front two guys when I was starting loop 4 and they were starting loop 5. But they encouraged me as they passed. And when I finished, another friend was there patting me on the back for sticking it out and getting it done. They know I’m struggling and they’re being extra-encouraging, and I don’t think they have any clue how much it means to me and how much I need to hear it some days. Group running I think has lots of benefits, and really, what do you have to lose in trying it?

    • I was hoping you would comment Carina. I think part of why I’m encouraged to join a group is from reading your blog. I am looking into groups in my area and seeking out information for one that might be compatible with my schedule and goals. You are absolutely right, I have nothing to lose.

  4. Aimee…
    It really is difficult for each of us to love ourselves…I mean, really, who else but US gets to hear our constant inner banter, positive or negative, but oh so often negative. We can be the most positive person on the outside and everyone around us would think, “boy, she is so positive, she’s doing great things, I could never be like her,” but then that same person who LOOKS so positive is really berating herself for silly things but it’s just a habit that is hard to break.
    I wish for you that you would see how great you are…but I have a feeling you already know…but it’s hard to KNOW it 24/7. And it’s those tiny moments of not feeling great that we tend to remember the most, not the majority of the time when we might love our lives.
    Anyways, reading the comments on your blog made me think that yes…a person/group to run with probably would be great for you. I can SO see you in a running group, utilizing others as inspiration, but also being inspiring to others.
    Congratulations on an improvement in your running time!
    I hope self acceptance will come to you (and me too!)

    • Oh Kaye, I definitely do not think I’m great in any capacity. Average yes, a bit anal retentive when it comes to work ethic definitely, but great NO! I second myself all the time. I would give anything for confidence. It’s not an easy thing to develop at 40 years old. I do think it’s something worth continuing to strive for and surrounding myself with positive, supportive people is helpful. I think we both learn a lot from each each other.

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